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Note 1, p. 4.
The Devils seen by Benvenuto Cellini.—Extract from Mr
Roscoe's Translation of his Life.
“ It happened, through a variety of odd accidents, that I made acquaintance with a Sicilian priest, who was a man of genius, and well versed in the Latin and Greek authors. Happening one day to have some conversation with him, when the subject turned upon the art of necromancy, I, who had a great desire to know something of the matter, told him, that I had all my life felt a curiosity to be acquainted with the mysteries of this art. The priest made answer, * That the man must be of a resolute and steady temper who enters upon that study.' I replied, “That I had fortitude and resolution enough, if I could but find an opportunity. The priest subjoined, “ If you think you have the heart to venture, I will give you all the satisfaction you can desire.' Thus we agreed to enter upon a plan of necromancy. The priest one evening prepared to satisfy me, and desired me to look out for a companion or two. I invited one Vincenzio Romoli, who was my intimate acquaintance : he brought with him a native of Pistoia, who cultivated the black art himself. We repaired to the Colosseo, and the priest, according to the custom of necromancers, began to draw circles upon the ground with the most impressive ceremonies imaginable: he likewise brought hither assafoetida, several precious perfumes, and fire, with some compositions also which diffused noisome odours. As soon as he was in readiness, he made an opening to the circle, and having
taken us by the hand, ordered the other necromancer, his partner, to throw the perfumes into the fire at a proper time, intrusting the care of the fire and the perfumes to the rest; and then he began his incantations. This ceremony lasted above an hour and a half, when there appeared several legions of devils, insomuch that the amphitheatre was quite filled with them. I was busy about the perfumes, when the priest, perceiving there was a considerable number of infernal spirits, turned to me and said, ' Benvenuto, ask them something. I answered, “Let them bring me into the company of my Sicilian mistress, Angelica.' That night we obtained no answer of any sort; but I had received great satisfaction in having my curiosity so far indulged. The necromancer told me, it was requisite we should go a second time, assuring me, that I should be satisfied in whatever I asked; but that I must bring with me a pure immaculate boy.
“ I took with me a youth who was in my service, of about twelve
of age, together with the same Vincenzio Romoli, who had been my companion the first time, and one Agnolino Gaddi, an intimate acquaintance, whom I likewise prevailed on to assist at the ceremony. When we came to the place appointed, the priest having made his preparations as before, with the same and even more striking ceremonies, placed us within the circle, which he had likewise drawn with a more wonderful art, and in a more solemn manner, than at our former meeting. Thus having committed the care of the perfumes and the fire to my friend Vincenzio, who was assisted by Agnolino Gaddi, into
hand a pintaculo or magical chart,* and bid me turn it towards
“ The most exact writers call it pentacoli, a sort of magical preparation of card, stone, and metal, on which are inscribed words and figures, considered very efficacious against the power of de
See Ariosto Orl. F. c. iii. st. 21:”-(Note of the TransLator.)